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Bernie Ward turned down plea bargain

Federal prosecutors pursuing a child pornography case against liberal KGO radio talk host Bernie Ward were pressuring him as far back as a year and a half ago to accept a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for five years, the Chron’s Matier & Ross report, citing “knowledgeable sources.”

Ward tells M&R that he was only researching a book when he downloaded child-porn images in December 2004 and transmitted them to a woman with whom he had been communicating on a chat line.

Meanwhile radio critic Brad Kava says that the only people not talking about the Bernie Ward story are KGO-AM’s talk show hosts. While KGO’s news side covered it, talk hosts on the station have been discussing topics such as Mitt Romney’s religion or the CIA cover-up of torture tapes. To Kava, such topics “sounded anemic compared to the Ward case. What was on most minds was whether the station’s most vocal liberal host had done something gruesome and illegal.”

Ward points out that KGO-AM hosts didn’t shy away from discussing Rush Limbaugh’s arrest for buying illegal pain killers.

“Just imagine how would the station be covering Gavin Newsom or Barry Bonds in the same situation?” Kava asks. “Talk wallpaper, right?” (Photo credit: MSNBC)

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